Originally created 05/04/01

Music festival richly varied



ATLANTA - This weekend's Music Midtown festival in Atlanta boasts an eclectic lineup that includes pop-music legends, old-school rappers, rock 'n' roll stalwarts and modern rock-radio kings.

Notable performers include Bob Dylan; his son Jakob Dylan and his band, the Wallflowers; rhythm and blues icon Al Green; folk queens the Indigo Girls; rap pioneers Run DMC; and modern rockers Train.

As promoters SFX Entertainment like to boast, the annual event has something for everyone, provided you're not claustrophobic, as crowds are anticipated in the 250,000-300,000 range for the weekend. Overall, more than 100 acts will perform on 11 stages on a 35-acre site off Piedmont Avenue, anchored by the Atlanta Civic Center complex. Tickets are $35 for a three-day pass. One-day passes are $30. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster, www.sfx.com and at the festival gates.

Like classic rock? The festival has you covered with performances by Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Kansas, John Kay and Steppenwolf, Night Ranger and Little Feat. Is modern rock more your bag? Then Fuel, Offspring, Oleander, Tantric, Days of the New, Live, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Dexter Freebish should satisfy.

Perhaps rhythm and blues, hip-hop and old-school funk get you grooving. The festival features a regrouped Arrested Development, Original P (former members of Parliament Funkadelic), Run DMC, Kool and the Gang and the Sugar Hill Gang.

Then there are the hard-to-categorize performers: Blind Boys of Alabama, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers, North Mississippi All-stars, Patti Smith, Lucinda Williams, Ben Harper, and Victoria Williams and Marc Olson performing together.

Other acts worth seeing include a trio of 1980s college rockers, the Cult, the Smithereens and the Connells; guitar whiz Eric Johnson; Delbert McClinton; Blues Traveler; Gov't Mule; Joan Osborne; and alternative country star Steve Earle. There's also more of a Georgia connection this year with the Black Crowes, the Indigo Girls, Arrested Development, Drivin' n' Cryin', Evan and Jaron, the Jennifer Nettles Band, Marvelous 3, and a slew of Atlanta-based bands showcased.

Parking is limited. Organizers suggest you take the city's rapid transit system, MARTA. It is a bit of a hike, however, from MARTA's Civic Center and North Avenue stations, so put on your walking shoes. For more information about MARTA, go to www.itsmarta.com.

Besides wall-to-wall music, the festival will have an expanded artist market with more than 60 vendors, a film tent offering screenings of various film shorts, food and beverage vendors and a kid-friendly area inside the adjacent SciTrek interactive museum. For more details about performers, performance times and dates, visit the festival's Web site at www.musicmidtown.com or call the hot line at (404) 770-MIDTOWN.

Performers for Music Midtown

What: Atlanta music festival with more than 100 acts performing on 11 stages

When: 6-10 p.m. today, 12:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday and 1-8:40 p.m. Sunday

Performers by day:

Today's lineup includes Bob Dylan, Blue Oyster Cult, Arrested Development, Blues Traveler, Delbert McClinton, Drivin' N' Cryin', Joan Osborne, Erykah Badu, Our Lady Peace and the Black Crowes; Saturday performers include Al Green, Blind Boys of Alabama, Kansas, Blueground Undergrass, Booker T. Jones, Cheap Trick, David Lindley, John Kay and Steppenwolf, Loverboy, Train, Shawn Colvin, Kool and the Gang, the Cult, the Smithereens, Dexter Freebish, Indigo Girls and the Wallflowers; lineup for Sunday includes Indigo Girls, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Evan and Jaron, Fuel, Gov't Mule, John Hammond, Little Feat, Run-D.M.C., Steve Earle and the Derek Trucks Band.

Where: Midtown Atlanta, 35-acre site at Atlanta Civic Center complex off Piedmont Avenue and Ralph McGill Boulevard

Admission: $30 a day, $35 for a three-day pass. No charge age 10 and younger with paid adult. Tickets available through Ticketmaster, www.sfx.com and at the festival gates.

Phone: (404) 770-MIDTOWN.